Some combinations seem to be forged in heaven: Morecambe and Wise, Trinidad and Tobago, Pimm’s and lemonade. And some do not: Tony and Gordon, England and Wales, salmon and custard – and now, Co-op and Somerfield.

Yes, there’s a superficial logic to it. What do you get if you combine two useless, medium-sized c-store chains? That’s right, one great big, useless c-store chain! But here at DRIP we pride ourselves on our research and our analysis and in-depth probe into the forthcoming merger has disclosed that the enlarged chain will combine the unique qualities of both parents. Thus it will have the Co-op’s flair for fresh produce and retail execution with Somerfield’s overall price position and availability.

That’s right – it will be completely shit.

There’s more than a hint of an arranged marriage about this one, I’m afraid. Johnny Fingers and “Mexican Pete” Freeman quite obviously feel they’ve got the wind in their sails after their shocking disclosure this week that the cigarette industry is not entirely ethical. So they’ve muzzled the big four and any serious contender for the retail wasteland that is Somerfield was ruled out by dint of being fit for the job. Even, dare I say it, King Justin might be feeling a bit miffed, although this would of course require the redefinition of the word “serious”.

So we have our heroic competition authorities to thank for the fact that there will be even less competition among convenience stores. Result.

At least the retail glitterati can disappear to their various holiday retreats. El Tel is setting an example by taking his family for two glorious weeks soaking up the rays on the Birkenhead shoreline; King Justin is off to Qatar with the Peter Davis Memorial Begging Bowl; and Marc Bolan is on a course to perfect his Belgian waffling. If last week’s The Grocer is anything to go by, he hasn’t got much to learn.